Do you remember all those grammar rules you've been taught in a primary school? How many of them do you actually use? Of course, we need to know tenses and active/passive voices as these are the basics if we want to speak English language. But there are some things we probably didn't know before and they would make our life easier and our speaking much better. Did you just recognize that this sentence started with conjunction? It's been a very controversial grammar ''rule'' that we cannot start a sentence in English with conjunction. And also we cannot end a sentence with a preposition. That is not true! Of course you can start with ''but'', ''and'', ''because'' etc. This is perfectly correct. So here are some other tips that will help you speak fearlessly and gallantly:
1. Adjective order – when we want to describe something but we don't know how to order all those fancy words. Here is the correct order of adjectives so try to remember some of them using your own examples.
a) OPINION – wonderful, strange
b) SIZE – small, big
c) PHYSICAL QUALITY – fat, thin
d) SHAPE - oval, triangle
e) AGE – old, young
f) COLOUR – pink, green
g) ORIGIN – American, Chinese
h) MATERIAL – plastic, wood
i) TYPE – bread-like, six-sided
j) PURPOSE – painting, paying
Example: What an incredible, big, Japanese cup.
2. ''a'' and ''an'' – do you know the rule?
It's been known for ages that we use ''a'' if a word starts with a consonant and we use ''an'' if a word starts with a vowel. This is not a rule actually! There is a huge difference between a consonant and a consonant sound. How? Let's take a look at this example: university. Obviously, this word starts with a vowel ''u''. But still, we use ''a university.'' Why? Because, when we pronounce it, actually what we hear is yo͞onəˈvərsətē – it starts with y which is a consonant. There are many other examples like an hour, one-track mind, unicorn, honest, etc. Try to practice with these examples by saying them out loud and check if they start with a vowel or consonant sound maybe?
3. Subject is the boss
This is a common grammar tip – the number of the subject determines the number of the verb! When we have long sentences we stop following the elements of the sentence. There are so many of them. But what we always know is the subject and the verb. Don't get confused by all the other objects, adverbs, relative clauses, etc. Remember, if the subject is singular the verb must be singular. If the subject is plural the verb must be plural! Once you understand this, you will never have problems in deciding is it singular or plural.
Example: Everybody thinks she's a wonderful girl. In this example, ''everybody'' is the subject and it is singular as it means every person; ''thinks'' is a verb that follows the singular subject in its form as 3rd person singular.
Hope you have learned something new and will start using some of these tips in your daily English!
Bonus: Be careful with commas!